The Quail Motorcycle Gathering gave me a good reason to visit my friends in California and to ride Highway 1 along the coast. The Quail is a concours-level get together, complete with “famous” motorcycling personalities and incredible examples of bikes you won’t see parked outside of Burger King. It is a friendly, if not polite, gathering where old guys laugh loudly and Ducati girls pose for pictures (I can’t find my photo at press time…).
The rarities like Vincents and Borough Superiors always draw a crowd, but there were true modern-day motorcycle artists represented. Everything from the custom bikes of Shinya Kimura to a miles-per-gallon record holder from Craig Vetter, creator of some of the ugliest creations in the world. The (formerly) fastest motorcycle in the world was there, too. And a few of my favorites included a classic Ducati, the Yamaha pictured above and these awesome little mopeds by Derringer Cycles.
Each year they highlight a make of bike, and this year, as evidenced by my photo, it was MV Agusta. A large group of these bikes that were on display were going to be auctioned off in August at another Quail event. A “free” catered lunch came with the price of admission (which was fantastic – and, since no one stopped me, it was all you can eat). Matt and I were able to hob nob with better motorcyclists than we, including a former Isle of Man TT competitor. You don’t get to talk about that every day. The day’s Master of Ceremonies was Paul d’Orleans, who runs the fantastic motorcycle blog “The Vintagent.”
All in all, the Quail is a classy motorcycle show that proves there are custom builders out there who don’t put Spiderman webs or skulls on everything.